Sediment mobility and trace metal recycling in the Tamar estuary, south west England (1979-1980)

Data set information

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Data holding centrePlymouth Marine Laboratory
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodFrom December 1979 to December 1980
Geographical area

Tamar Estuary, Plymouth, south west England


Trace metalloid and inorganic selenium concentrations in sediment pore water; Optical backscatter; Salinity of the water column; Concentration of suspended particulate material in the water column; Dissolved trace metalloid and inorganic selenium concentrations in water bodies; Particulate trace metalloid and inorganic selenium concentrations in water bodies; Inorganic chemical composition of sediment or rocks


Optical backscatter sensors; salinity sensor; sieves and filters; atomic absorption spectrometers


Measurements of trace metals in the dissolved, suspended particulate and sediment phases of the Tamar estuary were combined with observations of sediment and suspended particle mobility in an interpretation of metal cycling and retention processes within the system. All investigations in the field were carried out using a 12m length flat bottomed Rotork Seatruck. Water was pumped from a depth of 0.5m using a submersible (Flygt B2040) centrifugal pump through a constant levelled reservoir which held the detecting sensors for determining salinity and suspended sediment. Samples of surface water for metal analysis were collected by polythene bucket. Dissolved trace metals were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry following extraction from 0.45 micrometre membrane filtered subsamples onto Chelex resin. The total and acetic acid leachable metal contents of the suspended particulate material, separated onto Nuclepore 0.40 micrometre pore-sized filters, were determined. Sampling was carried out in December 1979, April 1980, July 1980, August 1980, October 1980 and December 1980.

OriginatorsPlymouth Marine Laboratory

Morris, A.W., Bale, A.J., Howland, R.J.M., Millward, G.E., Ackroyd, D.R., Loring, D.H. and Rantala, R.T.T. (1986) Water Science and Technology Vol 18: 111-119.,

OrganisationPlymouth Marine Laboratory
AvailabilityBy negotiation
ContactThe Director

Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Prospect Place The Hoe
United Kingdom

Telephone+44 1752 633100
Facsimile+44 (0)1752 633101
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1053024
Global identifier704
Last revised2010-11-22